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Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Knight Foundation, Miami, FL

President Brandon Benavides called meeting to order at 11:03 a.m.

Directors present: Rolando Arrieta, VP Broadcast; Brandon Benavides, President; Geraldine Cols
Azócar, Region 2; Laura Castañeda, Academic At-Large; Brian De Los Santos, Region
8Nancy Flores, Secretary; Daniela Ibarra, Student Representative; Paula Machado, Region 4;
Alberto Mendoza, Executive Director; Rafael Mejía, Region 1; Dianna Náñez, Region 7; Maria
Peña, VP Print; Maclovio Pérez, Region 5; Michelle Rindels, Financial Officer; Blanca Rios,
Region 6; Miguel Rosa, Spanish At-Large Officer; Joe Ruiz, VP Online; Rosalba Ruiz, Region 3

Directors Absent: Javier Palmera, General At-Large Officer

Guests: BA Snyder, Robert Hernandez, Jennifer Preston, Dino Chiecchi, Zita Arocha, Federico
Subervi, Veronica Martinez, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, Dorrine Mendoza

Rolando Arrieta motioned to go into Executive Session at 11:05 a.m. Geraldine Cols Azócar
seconded. Motion passed.
Geraldine Cols Azócar motioned to leave Executive Session at 12:20 p.m. Paula Machado

Board of Directors approved new executive director contract with one-year non-compete clause

Maria Peña motioned to approve minutes. Michelle Rindels seconded. Motion passed.

President’s Report
(registration info as of 7/18/18)

NAHJ President’s Report
For the next few days and beyond, we have a lot to celebrate.
1. Our membership has grown to more than 2,300 people. Thanks to the help of the board,
chapter presidents and staff for our aggressive membership drive efforts.
2. This year’s International Training Conference and Career Fair also brought in more
people. 1,275 have registered.
a. We haven’t seen registration numbers like this in the past years five years, if not
longer. We usually get 400 to 900 members to attend.
b. Registration has exceeded our last stand-alone conference which was in 2014 in
San Antonio. 849 Members attended.
c. This conference also surpassed the number of NAHJ members who attended the
joint conference in Washington, D.C. with NABJ. We had 878 members there.
3. We are in good financial standing.
a. This conference generated more than $970,000. That surpassed our budgeting
b. Alberto and his team have brought new sponsors while maintaining a great
working relationship with our long-time sponsors.
c. For the past two years, we treated our annual conference as a fundraiser for the
association. We always knew the conference is our money maker, but Alberto and
his staff have taken it to a whole new level.
d. We are on cusp of the paying down a significant amount on the internal loan to
the student initiatives account. I look forward to that vote later today.
4. We’ve also focused on board governance.
a. We passed an investment policy
b. We passed a fraternization policy
c. We passed an executive code of conduct
d. And we passed an updated board contract.
i. These are all very important policies that the association needed and will
have long-lasting effects after my term ends on Saturday at 11:59 PM.
5. Right now we are asking our members to approve to ByLaws amendments on the ballot.
a. One of them deals with the chapter bylaws.
i. Specifically, we remove the requirement for chapters to become their own
ii. We also create a new category for affiliated organizations. These are for
chapters that already have their non-profit status and maintain their own
ByLaws but remain affiliated with NAHJ.
iii. Another ByLaw amendment would prohibit the president from
simultaneously serving as executive director of the association.
iv. We worked with our legal team since Anaheim on these two amendments.
Now we wait until Saturday to determine if our membership approves the
amendments with a 10% quorum
6. I want to thank the Alberto, the staff and all the volunteers who helped make this
conference a success.

Finance Report

Financial Officer Michelle Rindels provided a financial summary. Highlights include:

Looking Back: Outcomes from 2017 Audit
- Growth in investments (principal and interest):
- End of 2016: $180,774
- End of 2017: $307,084
- Investment income (i.e. interest, dividends):
- 2016: $14,148
- 2017 (after investment policy implemented): $48,579
- Undesignated net assets (pure reserves)
- End of 2016: $114,563
- End of 2017: $15,943
- Total Revenue:
- 2016: $1,267,222
- 2017: $1,264,826
- Change in net assets:
- 2016: +$80,265
- 2017: +$209,120
Where We’re At: Updates on the 2018 Budget
- Bottom Line: Income is exceeding expectations, but expenses are still coming in.
- We’re at $1,271,753, while we budgeted for $1,080,000. That’s a surplus of
$191,753. Conference: 1,275 registered attendees as of 7/18/18 (includes paid
AND comp, and 100+ NAJA attendees)
- Conference revenue: $970,900 as of 7/18/18, including $302,500 in direct
pledges (Knight, Toyota, etc.) and $668,400 in sales (subject to 20%
commission, so net of $529,270).
Student Initiatives Fund Payback
- We currently owe $141,011.12 internally to our scholarship fund. In October 2016, we owed
- We haven’t paid out the budgeted $50,000 in scholarships from national, which would
reduce the debt to $91,011.12

Michelle Rindels motioned to approve the transfer of $91,011.12 from the operating account to
the student initiatives account. Joe Ruiz seconded. Motion passed.

UTEP Hispanic Journalism Satisfaction Survey
Survey authors presented findings to the NAHJ board that included nearly 25 percent of Latino
journalists say they are considering leaving the journalism profession. According to the study,
Latino journalists are dissatisfied with their current salaries, limited options to increase them and
a lack of opportunities for training and promotion in the nation’s newsrooms.

Puerto Rico Presentation
Centro de Periodismo Investigativo reported back on how vital NAHJ’s Puerto Rico initiative,
which provided communication equipment to news outlets after Hurricane Maria, was for
publishing stories, building partnerships and forming long-term relationships with other U.S.
media outlets. Current needs post-Hurricane Maria include more training with the inclusion of

New Chapters
Daniela Ibarra motioned to approve the Sagrado student chapter in Puerto Rico. Rafael Mejía
seconded. Motion passed.

Daniela Ibarra motioned to approve the Arecibo student chapter in Puerto Rico. Miguel Rosa
seconded. Motion passed.

Geraldine Cols Azócar motioned to adjourn. Maria Peña seconded. Meeting adjourned.